Yankees No. 4 prospect Deivi Garcia got the starting nod for the AL team in the Futures Game and didn’t disappoint, striking out the Braves top prospect on his way to a 1-2-3 inning — featuring his dancing 96.2 mph fastball.
Twenty-year-old Deivi Garcia continues to put the Yankees organization on notice that he’s coming. Sure, he’s the youngest player in Double-A and has only thrown 251 total innings since 2016, including 51 innings at Double-A Trenton this season.
But after Garcia’s 14-pitch dominate opening frame of the Futures Game, which included a strikeout and two pops ups, when combined with his 1.196 WHIP, 14.2 K/9, 41.9 percent ground rate and just two home runs allowed for the Thunder, the Yanks decided now is the time to promote him one last rung up the minor league ladder.
Following the All-Star Game festivities, Garcia will report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre — just a stone throws away from the Bronx.
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Although I wrote a month ago that it appeared the Yankees have decided to fast-track Garcia for the big leagues, I’d still be surprised to see him make his major league debut this season.
Taking his diminutive stature out of the equation (5-foot-9, 163-pounds), Garcia needs a bit of time to lessen his 4.4 BB/9, .324 BABIP and overall refinement of his developing slider.
With his 96 mph fastball, a curveball that generates extreme spins rates, and reliable changeup, should Garcia add a fourth pitch to his repertoire, he’ll have the type of MLB ready stuff needed to succeed at the next level — as Garcia told Matt Kardos of Pinstriped Prospects.
"“It’s another object that I have, and the hitters have to think about more than just three pitches now. It’s going to be a bit more difficult for them and a bit easier on me to come with four pitches.”"
In all likelihood, Garcia will be one of the first prospects requested this month as general manager Brian Cashman looks to reinforce the rotation for the stretch run.
However, with more upside than any other Yankee minor league pitcher, and possibly even No. 1 overall prospect Estevan Florial, the Yanks will need to acquire a legit major league pitcher with multiple years of club control should they decide to surrender the uber-talented Garcia.
If Garcia uses his success at Double-A to propel himself in the International League for the RailRiders (and he isn’t traded this month or during the winter), he’ll have a real shot at making the big league team next spring.